Did Liberals Get Conned? How Is Jill Stein Spending The Money She Raised For Bogus 2016 Recounts?

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Posted: Jun 07, 2018 8:30 PM
Did Liberals Get Conned? How Is Jill Stein Spending The Money She Raised For Bogus 2016 Recounts?

Remember Jill Stein’s shoddy 2016 recounts? Remember how she raised more for this nonsense effort than for her entire 2016 campaign? She raised over $7 million for this effort, and she seems to be spending it on her staff. Not in a lavish sense, but they told Daily Beast it’s because they’re continuing the recount initiative. A bit odd since Stein promised that there would be a vote on how the rest of the fund raised would be distributed. So far, that has not happened.

As liberals licked their wounds, with some still recovering from the shock of Trump’s win, Stein decided to pour gasoline on this dumpster fire of an election year for the Left by announcing that she would file for recounts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. There were absurd allegations of hacking, but no evidence—none. Also, some of the areas in these states had paper ballots. Pollsters mocked the idea. Nate Cohn at The New York Times noted a couple of things that showed why this conspiracy theory was bonkers. One, Trump did well in Iowa and Minnesota, winning the former and coming within less than two points of winning Minnesota. So, clinching Wisconsin is not unusual. 

“Metro Wisconsin, where Clinton did well, uses paper; rural Wisconsin, where she collapsed like everywhere, is electronic,” tweeted Cohn. So, the hack theory doesn’t survive the ‘am I crazy’ test. It was total garbage, but sadly, enough liberals were desperate enough to believe anything to try and cancel Trump’s upset win. Sorry, folks—Hillary just lost. She’s a two-time loser who will never be president. Still, Stein forged ahead (via Daily Beast):

Ongoing litigation, travel costs, and staff salaries are also likely to eat up whatever is left, meaning those who donated to Stein are unlikely to receive a once-promised chance to vote on how the post-recount money would be spent. Nor have donors been given much of a window into how Stein is actually spending their donations.

The last FEC filing from the Stein campaign was for the month of September 2017. And the last update from the campaign itself came in a post on April 20, in which it said it was down to $932,178 in recount funds.

“It is strange that they would just stop filing reports given they were a legitimate, professional campaign, and despite still having more than a million dollars in cash on hand,” Andrew Mayersohn, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics, told The Daily Beast.

Jonathan S. Abady, an attorney with Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, the New York-based firm that represents Stein and her campaign, told The Daily Beast that legal efforts on the recount persist to this day.

But the opacity surrounding the expenditure of money—combined with the fact that a good chunk of the spending has come after all efforts to recount the vote were terminated—has fed criticism that Stein was more interested in boosting her political operations than in recounting votes

[…]

Cynics smirked, believing Stein was just cashing in on the shock of Hillary Clinton’s defeat and trying to stifle the criticism that she had been a “spoiler.” She was the first in a legion of #Resistance grifters, in this telling—a charge amplified by President-elect Donald Trump.

In reality, it wasn’t even Stein’s idea to contest the results. Well-respected computer scientists, in need of legal standing and a proxy, urged her to do it after the Clinton campaign declined. That she raked in more than $7.3 million raised eyebrows, but that money was freely given by people who wanted her to pursue the costly process of double checking the ballots. In exchange, the Stein campaign promised to let the approximately 161,000 donors exercise their right to vote on how to disperse any money left over.

Now, Daily Beast has followed up due to a new report that offers better insight into how Stein’s crew has spent the donated cash since they didn’t file any FEC reports for the past several months:

Well after the possibility of a recount of the 2016 election results ended, Jill Stein’s presidential campaign continues to spend heavily on everything from staff salaries to attorney fees. The U.S. Green Party candidate revealed Monday that she had doled out more than $365,000 since the end of September 2017. As of April 30, 2018, her campaign had just over $761,000 in cash on hand.

TheJune 4 filings,first noted by Dave Levinthal of the Center for Public Integrity, are the first Federal Election Commission reports offered by Stein’s campaign in the last seven months. They come followinga Daily Beast investigation that revealed that Stein was likely violating federal campaign-finance laws by keeping her campaign finances hidden.

"The delay in our latest filing is due to the fact that we have had to revise our reports as a routine part of the audit process that automatically follows the use of clean money public campaign finance matching funds," Stein campaign communications director Dave Schwab said in a statement. "This is a difficult, labor-intensive process that has taken our compliance team months of work to prepare."

[…]

According to the new disclosures, Stein campaign manager David Cobb was paid $7,520 in April 2018, 19 months after the 2016 election. Cobb has described his current role as “campaign manager for the recount.”

The publication added that Cobb reached out to clarify his position, “I am serving in several roles. I oversee the campaign audit, a routine FEC cross check on campaigns that have qualified for clean money public matching funds that typically spans a period of time long after the campaign has ended. As an attorney and former sponsor of the 2004 presidential recount that led to significant victories for election integrity in Ohio and New Mexico, I also coordinate with the attorneys for much of the ongoing legal work being done on behalf of the recount.”

Yeah, okay—let’s take a step back. Some guy was paid almost $8,000; 19 months after the 2016 election whose position is now recount manager. And yes, on May 7, 2018, the FEC sent a letter to the Stein crew noting that they’re violating federal law by not submitting what they’ve been doing for the past half-year. It sounds like 161,000 donors just got taken for a ride. There is no evidence of hacking, even the Obama administration said there was no suspicious cyber activity that would suggest we were under attack. But I can understand if you’re a liberal who saw that the Huffington Post gave Hillary a 99 percent chance of winning, then it not happening, and wanting to fund any measure to try and stop Trump. It still doesn’t negate the fact that she lost fair and square. All three of these recounts ended and nothing changed. Well, that’s not actually true; Trump increased his vote total in Wisconsin by 131 votes.